Five-years-ago, a movie paying tribute to the classic British surfing road trip dropped. Featuring Mark Egor Harris and Mitch Corbett, The Endless Winter led us on a journey across the UK, sampling top surfing destinations and delving into the cultures associated with each.
And in its portrayal of the UK's surf scene, it worked, solidifying itself as an underground favourite, furnished with a heavy cult-like following. That's likely down to the fact that as a surf film, it was all plausible for a surfer living in the British Isles. Whether it time or circumstance, not everyone can spend a month revelling around, say, pumping Indo, or a remote pristine point in Baja. But a clean, chest-high day at Llangennith or Fistral? That is relatable. The premise had been simple and the pay off, well executed.
Now, The Endless Winter II has arrived. The DVD's out and you can pick it up by going HERE. Egor's back, yet, this time, the journey has expanded to take in that seminal European road trip, the travelling surfer's dream, from Newquay, gunning south to the small fishing village of Taghazout in Morocco.
Though Morocco falls outside the European border, it has long been seen as an extension of that trip – the rite of passage for UK surfers from Newquay to Plymouth, Plymouth to Roscoff and then skirting the Atlantic coastline to Hossegor and beyond.
And if the original was a stoke-inducing, let's-pack-the-car-and-travel-the-coast adventure, then this is going to make you sing. MSW was lucky enough to catch the UK premiere of The Endless Winter II at London Surf / Film Festival, in front of a packed auditorium.
Joining Egor on his southward trajectory are familiar faces from each region. These local heroes help him tap into the nuances of all the spots he pulls up at, learning the history of surfing at the villages or towns he takes in. Pauline Ado narrates his time through France, Kepa Acero jumps in for a session at all-time Mundaka and the German contingent too wade in with their own blend of surfing x rivers.
This is where The Endless Winter II shines, by providing true surfing insight, with most of Egor's guides bringing a local veteran out for a chat to delve into a spot's history, how it's changed over the years and imparting wisdoms on to the Newquay nomad.
And yet, this isn't a puff piece nor a simple focus on the socio-economic impact of surfing at each area, it is, at times, raw and emotional. The segment at Nazare where we're grounded with the harsh reality for local fisherman, who have been killed making it through that pounding shorebreak, and how surfing has helped humanise Praia do Norte, is empathetically bought to life by directors James Dean and Matt Crocker.
We come to understand Kepa's knowledge of Mundaka, readily available to all that ask, of course – the affable Basque charger is keen to hand over his sophisticated grasp on a complex wave, as the crew luck into all-time Mundaka.
The old guard of French surfing reminiscing about la Barre, France's lost wave, is sprinkled with a dose of knowing humour and a soft rivalry about who discovered what first. A history lesson dashed with moments of high performance surfing and local appreciation.
The Endless Winter II is an engaging, wonderfully told adventure – James and Matt have created something truly special here. What you take away from it is entirely up to you; whether it's the relatability of the great European road trip, the recognition of a rich and diverse surf tapestry, and how that's shaped surfing; or simply, an overarching fondness for classic European waves, there's a smorgasbord of surfing that is entertaining, fun and visually impactful.
Go HERE to purchase.